This is what more than 800 pairs of socks looks like, and that was only a part of last year’s Warm Feet, Warm Hearts charity collection. | T.Paterson photoScott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Casey Paterson is back on his mission to bring socks to those who need it the most: the homeless.

His “Warm Feet, Warm Hearts” drive has returned. Last year, he accumulated 845 pairs of new and “like new” socks plus $800 that was then used to purchase 500 more pairs of socks as well as 105 pairs of underwear and 60 mittens for a total of 1,510 items.

That haul was taken to Boyle Street Community Services as well as Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), two Edmonton organizations that help those struggling with homelessness.

“They were very happy. They really appreciated that a nine-year-old kid was willing to help a lot of people,” he said.

Now 10 years old, he evolved this campaign out of his soap-selling fundraiser for the SPCA that he started when he was a younger citizen of six.

“When we were doing deliveries in Edmonton one time, it was the first time where he’d noticed homeless people because there’s not a lot of homelessness in Jasper here. That alone really took him by surprise, and that’s where it started. He asked if he could start helping the people on the street. The best thing we could come up with that he wanted to do was to keep them warm, so he decided to start collecting socks,” said mom Twila Paterson.

“He didn’t like the idea that kids were cold. The YESS organization is all youth-based and then Boyle Street has a bigger, broader community base. They can reach a lot more people.”  

Since 1971, Boyle Street Community Services has been supporting individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness and poverty in Edmonton. Since 1981, YESS offers immediate and low-barrier 24/7 shelter, daytime resources and services, temporary supportive housing and individualized wrap-around supports for youths aged 15 to 24.

To embolden this year’s campaign, he will be at Mettra Pharmacy from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 to encourage Moonlight Madness shoppers to help him help others.

He has also gotten his school involved by encouraging each student to donate $1 if they can.  

“I think it’s getting a lot more kids involved and excited to help,” Twila said.

“There’s lots of people willing to help. I just really like doing it,” Casey said. “It would just be so great to get that point to everybody for everybody to donate. That’d be a lot of socks, a lot of money. The homeless can appreciate that.”

Those who wish can also make monetary donations by cash or by sending an e-transfer to caseyswarmsocks@gmail.com.

By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 15, 2023 at 06:00

This item reprinted with permission from    The Fitzhugh    Jasper, Alberta

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